When it comes to ‘gotcha questions,’ they aren’t usually very cool to ask. The entire idea behind them is to see if somebody is as smart as you, and not about assessing knowledge or judgment, but more simply about if you can make them look dumb.
They usually come in two different forms:
- Questions that require someone to know some pointless bit of trivia.
- Questions that are designed to trap someone into agreeing with something that isn’t true by virtue of not contesting the basis of the question to begin with.
Gotcha questions, in the end, don’t really have any value or purpose other than to make the interviewer feel about how smart they think they are.
Recently, Stoney G deGeyter wrote some posts that outlined over a hudred SEO job interview questions that pertained to the candidate’s knowledge, experience, and digital marketing strategies. These questions never had a single gotcha question, and there was a good reason.
You can learn a lot from candidates by asking thoughtful, meaningful questions that require them to dive deep into their thought processes.
In a post by Stoney, he as outlined some of the most typical SEO gotcha questions, and even explains why they shouldn’t be asked.